By Nikki Hedrick
Lulu’s celebrates its first anniversary in Destin by putting on a shindig Saturday, June 11, with live music kicking off at 11 a.m. going until 7 p.m.
The Alabama-based Lamont Landers Band will be the first to take the stage, and it will be their first time playing in Destin.
“Our live show is a mixture of blues, soul, funk and R&B,” says vocalist-guitarist Jordan Lamont Landers. “We want to be upbeat and funky, and leave room for some improvisation.
“Being from Alabama, we have been primarily playing (there), so that has been a next step we want to take—to expand, We’re looking forward to expanding down there, because I love the beach and love the area.”
Landers says his style is a culmination of his parents’ taste in music. “When I was kid, I remember riding around with my dad and he had three cassette tapes on a loop. It was Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. That was my introduction into guitar and became my foundation for guitar. Soul music came from my mom. She was a real big Al Green fan, Marvin Gaye…anything in that kind of genre.”
Encouragement from his sister to create YouTube videos helped Landers find confidence as a performer. In turn, it connected him with others in the music community, which eventually led to the current lineup of the Lamont Landers Band—Kevin Canada on keys, drummer Bowen Robertson, and bass player Curtis Comack.
Writing is a collaborative process for the group, and they are currently completing their debut album. Landers admits he’s a bit nervous about what the reception will be. “First and foremost, I hope that people like it. All the stuff is a reflection of us as a band and our growth this past year.”
Evolution isn’t only for new bands, something local favorites Hotel Oscar can attest to. With lineup changes, a new direction in their sound, and plans to call New Orleans home this fall, change surrounds the band.
Hotel Oscar now includes founding member Mose Wilson on guitar and vocals, multi-instrumentalist Isaac Eady, bassist Quintin Ayers, and saxophonist Chris Spies.
“We’ve been trying other drummers,” says Eady, who was voted Best Drummer at this year’s Beachcomber Music Awards. “That frees me up to play more keys and be more of a frontman with Mose and play guitar. But there is a lot we can do with the lineup we have.”
The transition to a more soulful and funky project has been a natural one, in part because of Eady’s growing role as a songwriting partner. “I say that it’s a lot to do with the direction of the new album,” says Wilson. “Everything we’ve been writing and playing has definitely been funk, soul and blues, and that’s coming over a lot more now with the live show. But the (new) album itself is that.”
The pair aren’t too concerned that the change will ruffle fans’ feathers—instead, they hope it will gain them credibility with New Orleans musical sensibilities. However you slice it, Hotel Oscar still promises a good time.
Both bands will be featured alongside NOLA heavyweights Glen David Andrews and Amanda Shaw at Lulu’s Bay Bash. The Lamont Landers Band debut album and Hotel Oscar’s Grass and Gumbo are slated for release later this summer.
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- Sandestin Wine Festival – Come for the Wine, Stay for the Fun
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